The Virtual Reality Gloves Can Let You Feel Digital Object

Our squishy human brains are easy to fool. Whether it’s optical illusions or more superior trickery, it doesn’t take a lot to exploit our mind’s weaknesses. However, that’s also what enables virtual reality (VR) systems, where technology can successfully transport us to a digital world. And thanks to a newly developed Virtual Reality glove, the impact might soon be better than ever.

A crew of engineers in Korea has designed the new gadget, which is pretty much precisely what it appears like: a lightweight and flexible glove that may effectively mimic the sensations of manipulating digital objects. The details seem today in Scientific Reports, where the authors describe utilizing the glove to control a “virtual hand” inside a digital realm. It’s a step ahead not just for video games and novelty toys, however more severe technology as well.

VR gloves are not quite a brand new technology. However, these mostly focus on translating actions into digital commands. Taking the input flow within the other direction — so a consumer can “feel” their digital surroundings — remains a more limited technology, which has usually focused on transmitting a sense of texture. That’s already pretty cool. However, this new glove sends the details of a virtual object’s shape to a consumer’s fingertips.

Like most such handwear, this VR glove uses sensors to tell the computer where the virtual hand should go, and actuators to provide some sensation for the person’s (real-life) hand. The sensors make use of piezoelectric technology, materials that produce an electric charge when squeezed. Line the glove with them, and every bend and flick of a finger produces a measurable electrical pulse, which the software can translate into instructions for the virtual hand.